Ethnobotany of Hmong ethnic groups in Bolikhamxay province, central Laos PDR

20 Sep 2023 Authors: Phengmala, K., Saesouk, S., Saensouk, P., Souladeth, P.

Results from an ethnobotany study of Hmong ethnic groups in  Bolikhamxay Province, Laos PDR between 2021 and 2023 identifies plant uses for 133 species, 104 genera, and 50 families. The research focusses on  specific  plant  uses.  Quantitative  analyses  are  applied  with  Use  Value  (UV),  Fidelity  Level  (FL),  and Informant Agreement Ratio (IAR). Cluster analysis based on the Jaccard’s Similarity Index (JI) are calculated for the similarity of edible plant used in three areas as follows: cultivated, from the forest, and in the market.  The most important plant species are Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. with a UV of 3.45 followed by Calamus viminalis Willd. (2.85) and Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe (2.83). The highest FL value for 23 plant species  with  100%  FL.  The  highest  consensus  within ailment  categories  is  for  urinary  system  symptoms, neurological symptoms and oral syndrome (IAR=1.00). The JI varies between 0.1013 and 0.2981; the highest JI is for pairs of cultivated and in the market. UPGMA cluster analysis indicates that the plants are collected from isolated forests with low similarity to other areas. Considering the numerous useful plants that have been documented, along with the identification of culturally and historically significant species, as well as their distribution and conservation status, it becomes evident that forest conservation is crucial for preserving the livelihoods  and  associated  ethnobotanical  knowledge  of  the  local  and  indigenous  people  in  Bolikhamxay Province.